Judge Rules that Trump Can’t Avoid Subpoena of Financial Records 🏛

Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images

Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images

Trump’s tax returns

A federal district judge in Washington DC ruled Monday against President Trump in a financial records dispute with Congress. Judge Amit Mehta stated that the Democratically-controlled House Oversight and Reform Committee had “valid legal purposes” for its subpoena of Trump’s accounting firm, giving them a week to hand over eight years of financial records to Congress.

Valid legal basis?

Trump’s legal team had argued that congressional investigations are only legitimate if legislation could result from them. Meanwhile, the Oversight Committee submitted that the records would help them decide whether to strengthen ethics and disclosure laws.


LEANING RIGHT:

Townhall: House Democrats’ Subpoena Over Trump’s Tax Returns Upheld…By An Obama-Appointed Judge

Fox News: Federal judge sides with House Democrats over subpoena for Trump’s financial records

The right sees the ruling as part of an ongoing attempt by Democrats to expose President Trump’s private financial information for political gain. They frequently highlight Judge Mehta’s appointment by President Obama, suggesting an inherent partisan bias behind the judge’s ruling, and support the attitude expressed by several Republican lawmakers and White House spokespersons that such investigations are a waste of time.

LEANING LEFT:

Vox: A federal judge just ruled Trump can’t block a House subpoena for his financial records

Slate: Federal Judge Rejects Trump Attempt to Block Congress From Subpoenaing His Financial Records

The left sees Judge Mehta’s ruling as a meaningful repudiation of Trump’s vow to systematically stonewall Congressional Democrats’ efforts to perform oversight. These articles take lengths to quote and explain the judge’s logic, emphasizing his Constitutional justification, as well as Oversight Chair Rep. Elija Cummings’ (MD-D) statement that the decision is a “resounding victory” for the rule of law. Articles with this perspective expect that the ruling will result in evidence of the president’s legal wrongdoing.  


Where's the common ground?

Few anticipate that we’ve heard the end of Judge Mehta’s ruling (or of the Mueller report, which Trump and others have brought up when discussing still-open investigations like this one) — Trump will likely press for an appeal. But in the meantime, if nobody takes up the appeal, his lawyers will have to hand over eight years’ of records within the week.

Trump's lawyers now

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